Safety is a big concern when it comes to today’s modern automobiles and there has been a lot of interest around the subject when you add electric vehicles to the mix. A recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announcement may quell electric vehicle safety fears and help boost consumer confidence in the segment. The announcement? The IIHS released earlier this month that the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and the 2011 Nissan LEAF are both part of the organization’s Top Safety Pick Awards.

Both GM and Nissan should be pleased and proud of the accomplishment since the IIHS has the reputation of being more rigorous than the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)—a reputation they have gained by having additional requirements like mandatory stability control and specific roof-crush guidelines. According to Joe Nolan, IIHS’ chief administrative officer, “What powers the wheels is different, but the level of safety for the Volt and LEAF is as high as any of our other top crash test performers.” Mark that in the win column for EVs, which is a welcome outcome considering other EVs like the GEM neighborhood EV and Wheego Whip led to a IIHS prediction of severe injuries in the case of an accident.

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt and 2011 Nissan LEAF join a list of 80 vehicles that are apart of the IIHS Top Safety Pick selections. The Top Safety Pick designation is in its fifth year and has seven hybrid vehicles on the list and one electric. GM has a large presence with 12 vehicles on the list and Nissan has a total of three. No matter how you look at it, electric vehicles are proving to be just as safe as gas or diesel powered vehicles. We believe when you get EVs getting to 300 miles on a single full charge there will be a much higher adoption rate.



[Source: TheCarConnection & IIHS]